Welcome to High School, Cady Heron

By Carolyn, age 15, Indiana

Worlds of difference just down the street. What is this little-known difference right under our noses?

Alarm goes off. Smack it into submission. Go back to sleep. It goes off again. Repeat.

Sound familiar? You get up, shuffle into the shower, and sit for an unwise amount of time in the hot water. Once you get out, after muttering several well-phrased insults at the cold air, you return to your room. There you either dig blindly through the dirty clothes pile for something to wear, or else you retrieve your neatly laid-out clothing from where it's hung on the bookshelf ... depending on your neatness level. You stuff last minute homework into your backpack, plus a few extra gym clothes, make sure you have money for lunch, and off you go.

The day is filled with yawning through your boring classes and laughing through your fun ones. Saying a quick "Hi" and sharing a bit of gossip in the halls, running to catch the bell, pouting at the fact that your teacher didn't sit you next to that cute guy.

All part of a day's work, right? I mean, it's natural. Second nature. You hardly think about it anymore. Nothing anyone does surprises you, unless it's Jake asking Melissa out to the dance. Really. It's part of your life.

But what about the people who don't go to school? Those who have been homeschooled their entire lives? What many of us take as "normal" is an entirely different world for these kids. The difference is very drastic. Going to public school and being homeschooled are two entirely different worlds.

I began going to public school just this semester. I entered as a fourteen year old sophomore. I am currently the youngest in most of my classes.

Let me begin with a bit of history. I was raised as a homeschooler. All my friends were either part of my homeschool group or went to my church. I was two grades ahead throughout elementary school, placed very well in the SAT's, and was an active member in my church club, through which I got a scholarship without even knowing it.

So then, after my first year of homeschooled high school, my parents wanted me to try public school. Why? The main reason was that I needed physical education, and the secondary reason was that I needed to find out what the world was like.

I thought I already knew ... Boy, was I wrong. There were many things I found shocking, strange, and bizarre ... things that regular high schoolers take for granted.

1. The Profanity

My View:
I heard more profanity during my first day of school than I'd heard in my entire life, and I'm not exaggerating. It was everywhere, and I was simply amazed. I never knew people actually said those things nowadays! I never knew that people used profanity that often! The first day practically traumatized me.

Their View:
Regular schoolgoers must think I'm absolutely bizarre for being shocked at their use of profanity. It's normal for them to hear it and to say it.

2. The Bell

My View:
As a homeschooler I was naturally on a very self-disciplined schedule, yet going to high school and hearing the bell even pushed that.

Five minutes between classes? ... That's not even enough time for a bathroom break! I never knew that high schoolers were run on such a tight schedule, and to this day the five minute rule still annoys me.

Their View:
Regular schoolers might not realize it, but at home kids generally have more trust and are allowed to do as they please more often.

3. The Classes

My View:
The transition from homeschooling education to public school education was drastic. In high school I found that the classes are drawn out for much, much longer, yet the amount of learning is the same, if not less, than the education in a half-hour homeschooling class. It's far easier to get a higher grade as well. I could practically sleep through my Multimedia class at school and still get an A. While homeschooling I strained to get even B's.

Their View:
Regular schoolers must be entirely used to the easy level of their classes. They probably don't realize that homeschooling is more difficult.

4. The Dating

My View:
Now, I was not all that "sheltered" of a homeschooler. I did watch TV occasionally, and I did watch the cheesy school shows where kids "hooked up" or went through terrible soap opera dating lives. But I didn't really think school was like that. I thought it was all made-for-TV drama. Boy, was I wrong.

Their View:
Dating, for high schoolers, is a natural part of their lives. Crushing, asking out, dances, etc. And to think that there are people my age who don't even so much as think about romance.

5. The Immaturity

My View:
I might offend some people with this one. (He he, don't hurt me ...) But I found that schooled kids have a much lower level of maturity than the kids who are home schooled. I mean, it shocked me to see people acting like they were ten ... or at least what I thought ten year olds behaved like. I personally prefer the company of adults over kids, even fellow home schooled kids, so when it came to public school, I was simply floored.

Their View:
They probably see "my kind" as stuck up and haughty to think we're "better" or something. I'm not entirely sure. Maybe we do feel this way ... maybe we have a problem in this area. Let me know what you think.

But, as a final note, let me say that I am extremely glad I started going to public school. Why? Simple ... It's easier.

What did you think about this article? Tell us!

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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